Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Weekend Activities!
                                        Better Half Requested chili for a day-before
Thanksgiving work lunch to share with his group...
So, he brought our White "Norwegian Chili" and a Red Beef-n-Bacon Chili.
Chicken Chili is on previous post. 
Beef-n-Bean Chili
1 pound of beef stew meat
1 package of cooked bacon pieces or half a pound of cooked bacon
1 packet of chili or taco seasoning
1/3 cup beef broth
16 ounces of V-8 Juice or tomato sauce
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. of sugar
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
(1 can of corn if you like)
It's best to brown the stew meat, if time allows, but not necessary. 
In 2 or 3 quart crock pot, place beef, bacon, seasoning and beef broth. 
Cook on low for 4-5 hours in crock pot 
if meat is browned first, or 7-8 hours if meat is not browned. 
Add the rest of ingredients about half way through.
Cook until the meat is tender.
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, taco chips and rice. 
(We are not big onion or pepper eaters at our home, so add your own if you like.)  :-)


An annual favorite event at our church is "Pie Night".  It's not just about the pie, but everyone loves that part too.  It's a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve Service.  People share what they are thankful to God for and then come downstairs
to try as many pies as they can possibly eat. 
Some are store-bought and some are homemade. 
We cut up and plate as many pies as we can and we just keep filling in,
till everyone has had their fill. 
We serve coffee, cider and Cool Whip on the side.
Last week, friend Barb, Drewman and I had fun punching and making "PIE PIC'S" for this year's pie night, just to be different. 
Barb usually runs pie night & just love working with her.

 We left early on Thanksgiving Day, to make a few stops before our destination for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We stopped at Wilmar, MN to see the beautiful steam locomotive at the Kandiyohi Historical Museum and also stopped in Darwin, MN. to see the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota!
(Check out the Weird Al video, if you have not. Love Weird Al!)
Drew snapped these shots of Sissy's deck just as it started to snow. The Colonel deep fried turkey for us again. YUM!  It was a wonderful day. 
It was 60 degrees on Thanksgiving morning.  By Black Friday morning it was 18 degrees with a wind chill. Winter is here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

 What are you thankful for?
I am thanking God for my precious family!
(The beautiful steam locomotive at The Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Favorite Farm!
We still don't get to Grandma & Grandpa's (mom & dad's) nearly as much as we want to, but when we do, we sure enjoy our time with them. 
Once in a while, there's a bit of work involved, but mostly it's relaxing & fun-probably not for Grandma though. 
There's really no pictures of G & G on here, but
that's their idea, not ours.
We have only permission to publish their pets!
Sadly, Sammy the Dog passed away a few weeks ago. 
You can see below, that even the cats liked Sammy. 
He was an awesome and funny dog.
He was always there to greet us, as we drove up the drive way. 
We miss him alot.  Can't imagine how much Grandpa & Grandma miss him!

Are you taking me home with you?

                          There's too many fun vehicles at the Farm! 
                     No wonder Grandpa hates to come in!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

 Sweet and Easy Corn Bread!

In our family, we have a lot of issues with food and textures. When I started experimenting with corn bread mixes, this is what I came up with that many of us will eat.
If you don't like gritty corn bread, give this a try.
BUT...If you are from the South though, this may not be for you. 
I have had Southerners tell me that sweetness has no place in corn bread. 
I do make corn bread from scratch and I'll post that eventually,
but this is great when you are making chili for a big group.  This will make two 9 x 13 pans or enough for 30-35 people.

1 Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix
2 Betty Crocker Corn Bread Mixes (in the packet)

Mix the cake mix as directed on the box in one bowl.
Mix the corn bread mixes together in a bowl as directed on package.
Mix Cake and Corn Bread mixtures all together in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 cup of sour cream and  1/3 cup of buttermilk.
Bake as directed on the Cake Mix Box, for 9 x 13 cake. 
Can test the center with clean fingertip or toothpick to check if done.
Top with a bit of butter or honey, if not rich enough for you.  :-) 


Drew's Oreo Pies
(makes 2 pies) 
1 bag of Oreo cookies (crush them to pieces)
•1 can sweetened condensed milk
•1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
•1 ( 16 oz.) carton Cool Whip
•2 ready-made Oreo pie shells or make your own
       1.Blend together sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese with mixer; add Cool Whip and mix well, with a spoon.
2.Stir in crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, saving 1/4-1/3 crumbs for the tops of pies 
3.Spoon mixture into pie shells.
4.Chill 4-6 hours before serving.  Sprinkle with reserved Oreo crumbs.
5.Makes 2 pies.  We usually freeze our pies! 

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie
1 cup of fudge ice cream topping or chocolate ganache
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. whipping cream, not whipped, or half & half or milk
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (10 inch) graham cracker crumb crust
Chopped Candy of Choice
Spread fudge sauce or ganache in the very bottom of the pie crust.  Put in freezer for an hour.  Mean while, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar, then peanut butter on low speed. Slowly blend in the cream or milk. Fold in whipped topping with a spoon, not a mixer. Pour into fudge-coated crust. Freeze 4 hours or more. To serve, add favorite chopped candy and more cream, if you dare!  :-) 

Drew must have taken this photo of me last November.  We were making Cranberry Chicken for this meal though I can't find the picture yet, so here's the recipe, because you find good buys on cranberry sauce at this time of year! I love working in this church kitchen!
Cranberry Chicken
 4 to 6 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1 can whole cranberry sauce or can use jellied if preferred
3/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 package dry onion soup mix, optional
 Spray a 9 x 13 pan.  Place chicken in pan, followed by all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for about 75-90 minutes, turning them every 20 minutes or so while stirring sauce. When chicken is fully cooked and tender, remove pan from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to thicken up the sauce. Turn the chicken once more, to get a glazed look on it before plating it. Goes well with rice. I love crock pots & this can be in the crock pot all day, but I do prefer the baked version of this better for some reason and it "looks" a bit nicer from the oven. 
If chicken is frozen, will require a little more baking time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Easy Brownies!

Last week, we had brownies & cookies-n-cream ice cream at Gramps house,        
while working on this fun train puzzle. 
Don't know why, but a few people have asked for "my" brownie recipe.  
This makes me laugh, because I am a corner cutter with brownies, 
as with everything else when cooking or baking for a crowd! 
Here's the complicated recipe. Ready?

Buy a Pillsbury Fudge Brownie Mix,
 Family Size for a 9 x 13 pan. 
Follow box directions 
substitute 1/2 cup of melted butter for the 1/2 cup of oil. 
That's it, though much of the time I pour in one half of a bag of white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips,  M & M's or Reeses Pieces!  Ok, not a big deal, but seems to make enough difference that people notice, especially us butter lovers.

Do you like the fine china and silver in the picture?  :-) 
We eat with Gramps a few times a week and to keep him happy,
we use disposable products.  No dishwasher!
We are supposed to keep him from getting too stressed since his
subdural hematoma, so disposable it is! :-)

We like our two new cats alot, but we sure miss our Kitter Boy, who we lost in February.  He grew up with Drew and was almost 18, so it was sure hard to say good bye!  His favorite thing was that cheese in the can.  The minute he saw it or heard it, he was always all over Better Half!